Delicate Arch

Moab, UT
Length: 3.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 2    Average: 5/5]

Delicate Arch is easily the most popular destination at Arches National Park as it adorns posters, souvenirs, and a large percentage of Utah license plates. The beautiful arch is bigger than expected at 42 feet high and over 30 feet wide. Hiking to Delicate Arch is only 3-miles roundtrip. It’s not a super hard hike, but it does have a few challenges that make it deserve a “moderate” rating on many hiking websites.

The majority of the hike to the arch is uphill, and an equal amount is fully in the sun. Large portion of the hike is on smooth rock and you’re guided by a few signs and rock cairns to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. Perhaps the most challenging part of the hike is the potential for heat and sun. If you are hiking in the summer months, or even a warm spring or fall day, be prepared with sun protection and PLENTY of water. Rangers recommend hikers bring at least two liters of water per person on this hike. In the winter, there can often be ice on the trail too.
The last part of the hike includes stunning views and a steep drop-off. Even right AT the arch, there are more than a few drop-offs. Views of the mountains on the other side of the arch are stunning and the arch itself really wows you.
All of that being said, this is definitely a doable hike with kids depending on your own comfort level. Babies and toddlers will need to be worn in carriers; no strollers are allowed. Young kids will need hand-holding when there is a drop-off and in the areas around Delicate Arch. Most importantly, bring plenty of water with you and if you have kids with you, bring lots of snacks for bribery.
It’s such a fun hike with lots of panoramic views and the arch at the end is a wonderful reward. The trail can often be very crowded, especially on weekends. I have read that just before sunset can bring out hundreds of hikers and photographers too.
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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Mixed
Elevation gain 480 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Camping Nearby, Junior Ranger Program, Natural Play Area, Viewpoint, Visitor Center, and Wildlife Viewing

Awesome arch! Lots of rocks to climb, panoramic views.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $30.00

There is a $30 per car fee to enter Arches National Park. There is a large parking lot at the trailhead, but during peak times the lot may fill up. There is parking allowed on parts of the road, but then it will add some distance to your hike.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 2    Average: 5/5]

Alex is an artist and graphic designer who runs her own little business from home while she’s momming it with her two school-aged boys. She’s a California native and transplant to the Salt Lake Valley where she’s completely fallen in love with living so close to the mountains. She loves hiking, camping, travel, soccer, photography and cooking. She geeks out over history, especially art history, loves getting lost in a great novel, and she started practicing taekwondo the year she turned 40. She’s also a Lifetime Girl Scout and she loves sharing her love for travel and the outdoors with her kids.

Trail Head


Trail Map

Getting There

From I-70, take exit 182 to US-191 S toward Moab. The park entrance will be on the left after approximately 27 miles. The trailhead for Delicate Arch is approximately 14 miles after the main entrance and clearly marked.